In my observations, there are 2 main factors involved in risk. Ignorance and Tolerance. It is acceptable to be tolerant of a risk factor if you're well aware of it. Or even if you're not well aware of the factor itself, you're well aware that there is an unknown risk and can account for that.
The second factor is tolerance. How tolerant are you of the risk? What is it worth to you? And what is your personal trade
off? Are you willing to buy every conceivable piece of safety gear
and string new standing rigging
every 5 years no matter what? Probably not. Do you recognize the consequences of that choice? Maybe? Hopefully.
I respect people that are not ignorant of the risk and choose to take the risk anyway. That is their personal choice. I respect people that are not ignorant of the risk and choose to do everything they can to stop it or minimize it. I do not respect people ignorant of the risk factors involved in what they are doing. That is the sin.
Managing risk is a personal choice. Who am I to tell you what is acceptable and not acceptable beyond the basics of making sure you don't endanger me with your risk taking? Well the answer is that I'm not. I might not check the oil
every time I start the engine
but I'm not going to give you flak for it. You might not go over the rigging
every three months with a fine tooth comb, but don't give me flak for doing it.
motorcycles for years. Some of the guys in our group wore full riding gear
, some cheap
full suits, some only helmets, and some were in flip flops with no helmet at all. Usually the guys with nothing were ignorant of the risk. A well informed rider knew enough to know wearing a helmet is a small price
to pay to manage a huge risk.
Personally I use the 80/20 rule
. I try to minimize my risk without compromising my fun and adventure. I try to understand the trade
offs I've made. I try to recognize the places where I am weak (my risk is high). I ask myself if those weaknesses are acceptable to ME and to the people that share in those risks. I try to inform those that share in the risks of what I perceive them to be. And I look to those that are knowledgeable to garner a greater understanding of those risks. I think that is the responsible thing to do and it is a deeply personal choice with no single
Let the paranoid crow. Let the free spirits run wild. But hopefully they both know what they've sacrificed to achieve their personal risk levels.
I would love to see some sort of measure of personal locus of control vs risk taking. It'd be interesting to see how that affects our personal choices regarding safety